The Pillowman

The Pillowman is a play by Martin McDonagh, first performed in 2003. I went to see an amateur performance by Teddington Theatre Club at the Hampton Hill Playhouse which was of an incredibly high standard.

The play is set in an unspecified dictatorship when a writer has been brought in for questioning by the police. He specialises in dark fairytales in which children die, and as someone has been murdering children in copycat fashion, he gets the blame.

The play is both a powerful police procedural and a testament to the power of stories: even if that power isn’t always used for good. There is dark humour in the piece, too – not least in the unexpected ending.

The performances are superb: for a supposedly amateur company I was incredibly impressed. Tom Shore as Katurian was excellent, as was Tom Cooper as his brother Michal, while Charlie Golding and Luke Michaels were also superb as the two policemen. The Pillowman is a haunting play and worth seeing, whether you manage to catch this excellent production or another one, should it happen to come along.

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